Career Calling

July 25, 2013

Swearing at a Telemarketer

A few minutes ago I hung up on a telemarketer named John.  He was trying to offer me a home fall prevention service that “had already been paid for.”  The call began with no identification of the company or purpose of the call.  

At first, I politely tried to interrupt the caller to see if he was calling for me or if this was a wrong number.  He kept reading the script.  Then, using his name, I told John that I didn’t think I was the person he was trying to reach.  He kept reading the script, only adding that the service “had already been paid for.”  When I heard this, I started swearing, which I regret.  I should have controlled my temper, but the situation was absurd and insulting.

What does this story have to do with jobs and careers?  A lot.  John is working for a company that requires him to read his script word for word.  In some situations, such as market research, verbatim presentation of a script makes sense.  In this situation or any sales situation, it does not.  John’s employer showed me no respect, and I took it out on his employee.  More importantly, if I was not the targeted of the call, they missed a possible transaction. What kind of company is this? 

What kind of person is John?  I can’t judge his character, but clearly he’s stuck in the worst kind of job, one where the employer doesn’t trust its employees to think.  When people communicate and ask questions, they expect answers.  John, following the script, could not answer my questions.  In essence, he was behaving like a machine.  I do feel bad for the way I spoke to him, but his behavior – and his company’s behavior – made me lose my temper.  This is garbage work, and I pity the people who have to do it.

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